Theme: Network Challenges in Africa, including Disaster Management
Africa has made considerable gains with regards to network communications in the last decades. It’s Internet penetration grew by more than 400%; its international bandwidth has been multiplied by 20 in just five years between 2009 and 2014; during the same period Africa’s terrestrial backbone has doubled (Internet Society, Internet Development and Internet Governance in Africa, 2015). This achievement required considerable private and public investment and brought hope for Africans, particularly its youth.
However, all these hopes might be dashed by the increasing number of network shutdowns in Africa and the developing world in general. For example, just in 2016, there were at least 56 shutdowns of the Internet around the world, most of them in developing countries. These shutdowns affect individuals and organizations that depend on the Internet for their daily lives. At the “Keep it on” workshop in Nairobi at the African Internet Summit, around 30 young participants listed the reasons why no one should shut down the Internet and there were many.
Given these network challenges, there are serious implications for advanced network and disaster management. Critical communications essentially means the ability to deliver communication where conventional networks cannot meet the required demands. Such Communication is critical during and immediately after a disaster situation, an important component of response and recovery, in that it connects affected people, families, and communities with first responders, support systems, and other family members. Reliable and accessible communication and information systems is key to a community’s resilience . The role of communication technology has been recognized as integral to disaster management for a long time. New communication and information technologies, for example the huge role 5g technology could play in advanced network and disaster management, have emerged over the last two decades, that lend themselves to greater possibilities of integration of different communication systems. The interoperability of various communication systems including internet, mobile phones, fax, e-mail, radio and television is increasingly becoming functional. As a result, the possibilities for application of communication technologies in mitigation and prevention of disasters is also increasing.
Confirmed Contributors (Name Order)
|Distribution||Total copies: 22,854|
|GITEX Dubai, 14-18 October, 2018 12,000|
|Job title breakdown|
|Public sector||Private sector|
Senior civil servants
Chief executive officers
Ministries of Communications and advisers
Regulatory authorities and advisers
Major corporations in the region
Republic of the Congo
Sao Tome & Principe